Report: Packers' Darnell Savage 1st 2019 NFL Draft 1st-Rounder to Sign Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 2, 2019

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 27:  Darnell Savage Jr. #4 of the Maryland Terrapins in position during a college football game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Capitol One Field at Maryland Stadium on October 27, 2018 at College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers signed first-round NFL draft pick Darnell Savage to a four-year deal with a fifth-year option on Thursday, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. 

Savage became the first 2019 first-round selection to sign his rookie deal with the agreement.

The Pack took the Maryland safety 21st overall after trading their two fourth-round picks to the Baltimore Ravens to move up nine spots.

The 5'11", 198-pound safety amassed 111 tackles and seven interceptions over the past two seasons with the Terrapins. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors for his efforts last year.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com offered the following scouting report and compared him to Oakland Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner:

"Savage will offer an interesting litmus test for how teams value instincts, IQ and coverage quickness against size. He sports a compact frame with a muscular build and was actually bigger at the combine than some scouts expected. His sticky cover skills and ability to close on throws from all areas of the field are valuable commodities that should not be undervalued. Savage should be targeted as a Day 2 hybrid defender offering early starting potential as a two-high zone or slot cover talent."

         

Savage joins a revamped Packers defense that added safety Adrian Amos, edge-rusher Za'Darius Smith and linebacker Preston Smith via free agency. The trio ranked in the top 40 of Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com's top-100 NFL free agents.

Green Bay also added Michigan outside linebacker Rashan Gary with the 12th overall pick.

The Packers' scoring defense has finished outside the top 20 for the past three seasons, so Green Bay made must-needed changes in an attempt to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Sportsbooks also seem bullish on the Packers' future despite a 6-9-1 record last season: Per Vegas Insider, Green Bay is tied for ninth on the Super Bowl LIV ledger at 22-1 to win it all.

The road to the Lombardi Trophy begins for Green Bay on Friday, which marks the start of a three-day rookie minicamp. The Packers open the regular season at the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5.

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